Donald B. Dingwell
The 2020 Arthur Holmes Medal & Honorary Membership is awarded to Donald B. Dingwell in recognition of outstanding contributions to understanding the physical properties of silicate melts and magmas, and experimental volcanology.
Donald Dingwell is a world-leading volcanologist who has pioneered the use of laboratory experimentation on the rheology of magmas. His scientific success breeds from his genuine adoration for science, and his contribution to our understanding of the solid Earth is at the highest level. His scientific efforts represent the far-reaching impact he has made on our understanding of silicate liquids, which play a central role in the Earth system. Dingwell’s work has been conducted with remarkable intellect, and his description of magma properties has bridged the gap between ‘equilibrium’ and highly disequilibrium systems, ranging from magma’s storage, flow, eruption, and interaction with the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere.
Impressive above all is Dingwell’s capacity for truly creative experimentation that addresses seminal issues, which makes him an exceptional scientist. From his elegant work on the relaxation of magmas, he set out to demonstrate the relationships between the structure and viscosity of silicate liquids and their time-dependence alleged by the glass transition. This timescale, broadening the definition of time set by Arthur Holmes himself, provides an important clock in Earth dynamics—a concept central to volcanology today. With the realisation that a simple view of silicate liquids held the information to explain mass transport in the Earth and volcanic activity, he took on a vast rheological campaign to describe the wealth of liquids’ geodiversity, creating the field of experimental volcanology. Over the last decades, he has, in conjunction with his postdoctoral fellows and students, moved this sub-discipline to the forefront of the geosciences.
Just as Dingwell’s scientific work has influenced a whole generation of geoscientists, his dedication to the community and political involvement in Europe has profoundly contributed to science and engineering worldwide. Donald Dingwell is an international leader who has made exceptional contributions to the Earth Sciences, and the scale of this contribution warrants recognition from the EGU community with the 2020 EGU Arthur Holmes Medal and Honorary Membership.